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Advice from an Industry Asshole - Part 3

Greetings and Salutations, water brothers!  Once again, I, kciR, write to educate you.   I'm not going to go into any depth on the things you will be taught or make it sound like bunnies.  I will not tell you how long you need to train or how much you should pay for your apprenticeship.  I will not even tell you that all apprenticeships are worthwhile, as that is something you will have to judge yourself.

The purpose of this article is to dissuade you from EVER wanting to take on an apprenticeship.

You will be exposed to one of the most horrifyingly unregulated and potentially dangerous industries in existance today.   You will be subject to humiliation and requests that demean your self-esteem on an almost hourly basis.  The number of floors you will mop and toilets you will polish will seem countless.  You will be berated for ink spots on the tile and watermarks on the mirror.  You will have nightmares of "Scrubbing tubes" and "Venting the autoclave" while someone shouts "Turn that off, Dumbass!"  

Nothing you do will be good enough.  Even the good things you do will be shit upon.  Your ego will be broken, your dream will reek of urine.   You will do your best to be helpful and then be ridiculed for your efforts.   There will be times when you lay in bed hating life because you have to go to work for 8 hours, put up with this awfulness, not get paid, and then do it all over again.  

What is your reward?  Getting to do the same fucking thing over and over again until you retire.  The purpose of the apprenticeship is to toughen your weak spots.  It will expose you to the crap that you will deal with your entire career.  

Dumb requests, menial tasks, harasment from the most cynical clients without a shred of creativity, repitition of seemingly trivial procedures.  These are the things that you will never escape.  They do not diminish in multitude or in magnitude.  Once you legitimately obtain the title of "artist" you get no magical pass and still are forced to endure these trifling job peculiarities.   Clients never get smarter, you'll always have to set up that station before and break it down after every use, the floor still needs to be mopped, someone will always be there to pull a hilarious (to them) prank on you, supplies still need to be restocked, yu'll still end up getting a cup of water or making last-minute runs to the autoclave to get something you just had time to cook.

I know what you're thinking now.  "But wait!  What about when I put on the daddy pants and take my own apprentice on?  Then I can get that sucker to do this shit for me!"  Nope, sorry nublet.  You'll only get them a few days out of the week and even then you'll spend half the time they're actually there fixing their mistakes and explaining why you have to turn the lights on to be able to see in the sterile room.  

A good apprenticeship will vary in length between apprentices and mentors.  In my opinion, it should culminate in the apprentice knowing and performing all duties carried out in  a standard working day with no help from the mentor.  The apprentice should be confident enough in himself to safely handle any situation that arises and be able to carry himself in a professional manner towards clients.  He should be versed in cleanliness, tool useage, aftercare, first aid, terminology, and history of the industry.  Upon formal completion of an apprenticeship the apprentice should be able to work in any suitable work environment upon his own merit and reflect in a positive fashion on the mentor who trained him.

- kciR

kciR (aka Rick) has been warned, flagged heavily, and then finally banned from the forums for his natural tendency to be an asshole. Unfortunately, he also provides a great amount of helpful advice, so what do we do? We bring him aboard as our first columnist!

Copyright © 2023 Permission is granted to reprint this article in its entirety as long as credit is retained and usage is non-commercial. Requests to publish edited or shortened versions must be confirmed in writing. For bibliographical purposes this article was first published January 20, 2011 in New York City, US.

I hope someone sees the humor in this =)
That about nails how my apprenticeship went.
Posted on January 20, 2011 (3:47pm)
Posted on January 20, 2011 (5:06pm)
thats sounds like doing a apprenticeship to become a chef too.
Posted on January 20, 2011 (5:07pm)
"Turn that off, Dumbass!" Hahahaha it's so true.
Posted on January 20, 2011 (6:47pm)
pooping in the metaphorical sink of all the would-be apprentices out there eh? good article!
Posted on January 23, 2011 (6:30am)
I wish it were legal to beat apprentices with a bullwhip or a cat of 9 tails. ....They would learn soooooo much faster. ;-D
Posted on January 27, 2011 (1:55pm)
I start my apprenticeship this coming spring! It was definitely a great read and the first two talked about the exact steps I took at getting to know my piercer and trying to get him to see why I would be a good candidate to work for him!
Posted on September 13, 2011 (7:49pm)
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